KATHMANDU, Aug 5: All Nepali nationals living in Beirut are safe in the massive explosion in the Lebanese capital city that left at least 100 people killed and 4,000 others injured.
Ambassador of Nepal to Egypt Jhabindra Aryal, who is concurrently accredited to Lebanon, said they have not received any reports of casualty or injuries involving Nepali nationals in the incident that occurred on Tuesday evening. “I talked to office bearers of Non-Resident Nepalis Association in Lebanon and Nepal’s consulate to inquire about the situation of Nepali nationals there. I am informed that all Nepali nationals are in contact and they are all safe now,” Ambassador Aryal told Republica.
Around 6,000 Nepali nationals live and work in various parts of Lebanon. In addition to this, some 900 Nepal Army (NA) soldiers are deployed in Lebanon as a part of the UN peacekeeping mission.
Ambassador Aryal said the number of Nepali nationals living and working in Lebanon has come down lately as the country witnessed the worst ever economic recession and inflation in the past few years. A large number of Nepali nationals currently living and working there are also planning to return home as many of them have lost jobs and faced pay cuts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The embassy had earlier coordinated rescue flights to take distressed Nepali nationals back home. Those who could return home in the rescue flights plan to return home once regular flights will resume.
The death toll in the massive warehouse explosion that occurred in Beirut port on Tuesday evening has already reached 100 as rescue workers continue digging through rubble on Wednesday to find survivors. Nearly 4,000 were left injured in the powerful explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut.
Officials said the toll was expected to rise after the blast at port warehouses that stored highly explosive material. President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.